Developer to retrain engineers in customer roles

Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate says 'right skilling' will prevent redundancies.
Developer to retrain engineers in customer roles
By Soren Billing
Tue 03 Mar 2009 01:50 PM

Abu Dhabi-based Sorouh Real Estate has revealed it is planning to retrain its engineers to work in customer service roles, in a bid to prevent redundancies amid a slowdown in the real estate sector.

Chief property development officer, Gurjit Singh, said on Tuesday the initiative termed “right skilling” was necessary as the company turned its focus from investors to end-users.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum he said: “It is about right skilling of the workforce, so people formerly involved in engineering may now be right skilled to work with customers, in terms of their demands and their fears.”

The company, the second largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, needed to be able to respond to customer service needs such as matching people with the right with mortgage supplier, he added.

The move aimed to prevent job losses as demand for developments slowed, Singh said.

“The industry as it stands is very challenged in terms of sales, but redundancies are only considered when, and if, we are unable to right skill them to other parts of the business,” he said.

It was time for developers to start concentrating on small projects with very clear target markets, Singh added.

In January Singh told Arabian Business that the company was reviewing all its new developments but added that there would be no delays on current projects.

Gurjit, who oversees a $19bn portfolio in the UAE and abroad, said: “The projects we haven’t launched yet will be more meticulously and better planned, they will have a sharper focus on cost management.”

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